Last month the American novelist Newton Thornburg died at the age of 81. He had apparently been incapacitated by a stroke in 1998 and been confined to a wheelchair since then.
He remains best-known for his 1976 post-Vietnam novel Cutter and Bone which was later turned into the fine feature film Cutter’s Way (1981), which I recently included in my list of Top 20 Private Eye Movies without having realised that Thornburg had passed away. The film is currently being screened at the BFI South Bank (aka the National Film Theatre) in London – for details, visit their website as part of the Jeff Bridges retrospective. It is also easy to find on DVD, as is the most recent edition of the book which boasts an introduction by George Pelecanos.
Cutter and Bone remains one of the great American counterculture novels of the 1970s and is ripe for rediscovery.
Sam Jordison has written a brief celebration of the man’s life and work for The Guardian and can be viewed here.
For a fine appraisal by J. Kingston Pierce of Cutter and Bone visit The Rap Sheet blog.